At 13 I was deeply moved by the stories of refugees; what they had endured before arriving in Australia and restarting their lives. Australian politicians were talking about refugees as numbers, and it angered me. They were people, with stories of hardship we couldn’t begin to imagine.
That was the inspiration for my first book, A Rough Road, which I wrote that year at 13. It teaches about the strength of the human spirit.
After graduating from high school in 2012 I began speaking in schools around Australia, meeting teenagers from all walks of life. I was amazed and moved by their stories, their struggles, their fears, and was inspired to write a novel that I hoped would help them through some of the challenging questions they were facing.
They were the inspiration for my second novel, I am Megan, which I wrote from 18 to 19, and edited at 20.
We all know Jim’s. Maybe you just passed a Jim’s Mowing trailer on the road; or maybe there’s a Jim’s Cleaning van parked across the street each Tuesday morning; or maybe your best mate is laughing all the way to the bank after quitting the city and starting his new Jim’s Fencing franchise, but do you know the real story behind the Jim’s Group and its founder, Jim Penman?